Hopper Windows: Not Just for Basements

January 26, 2009

Though nearly everyone has seen a hopper window at one point in their lives, most have never heard this window style named. They are most often found in basements because they provide excellent ventilation without much framing to block incoming light. Hopper windows are hinged on the bottom and open inward from the top. This makes them a lot like an upside-down awning window. Don't let the utilitarian nature of this window fool you--many contemporary home designs are incorporating hopper windows in place of smaller, fixed windows.

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These windows can be an excellent choice when it comes time to pick out replacement windows for your home. They provide for better airflow than slider-style windows, while also fitting into tighter spots than awning or casement windows because they open inward. The inward opening allows for the use of less hardware. Typically, hopper windows have one handle that does it all: turning the handle locks and unlocks the window, and, once unlocked, pulling the handle opens the window.

These windows are easily cleaned from inside because the screen is on the outside, thanks to the inward opening. This also allows additional security features, like grates or wrought-iron bars, to be added to the exterior of the window, another benefit over awning and other, outward-opening windows. The only downside to hopper windows is their lack of privacy, as the inward opening makes installing and operating curtains or blinds difficult. These windows are found over doors in older buildings, but also make great bathroom windows or functional add-ons to larger, fixed windows.

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